Special Report

35 Pantry Essentials You Should Never Be Without

Source: AngiePhotos / E+ via Getty Images

6. Dried pasta

Everybody loves pasta, and it’s one of the foods with the longest shelf life. Keep at least two kinds in stock — long noodles like spaghetti or fettuccine and short shapes like farfalle, penne, or rigatoni. (In general, the shorter ones are better for chunky additions like sausage or mushrooms, the long noodles for smooth ones like pesto or tomato sauce.)

Source: casanisaphoto / Getty Images

7. Dried beans

Another food that keeps almost forever, dried beans are easy to cook and a great source of non-animal protein. (The older the beans are, the longer they’ll take to cook.)

Source: vikif / iStock via Getty Images

8. All-purpose flour

Flour is useful in the kitchen not just for the obvious reason (baking) but to thicken sauces or coat fish, veal, or chicken for frying, among other things.

Source: Savany / E+ via Getty Images

9. Cornmeal

Cook it into polenta as a side dish, add it to bread dough or pancake batter, dredge fish or chicken in it, scatter it under a pizza crust before baking…. Cornmeal has many uses.

Source: EKramar / iStock via Getty Images

10. Baking powder

It’s essential for many baking recipes, of course, but baking powder can be stirred into water to make a cleaning solution, added to dried beans as they cook to make them less gas-inducing, left open in the refrigerator or freezer as a deodorizer, etc.